Almost everyone in America owns a copy of the Bible. For years, the Bible has been on the best-seller list, but have we ever considered the fact that it is the book that so few people really know? That it is truly the Word of God? People know and have access to so much information in today’s world. People know many things—the weather forecast, the latest hit songs, what movies are playing at the theatres, the latest styles of clothing, etc. People know and have access to a wealth of information. But, yet, so few know their Bible!
So often the Bible (the book itself) is used for a number of things instead of the true purpose for which it was divinely given. The primary use of the Bible for some is for a type of “Family Register”—records of births, weddings, and deaths. Many like to display the Bible in their homes so as to appear godly before others, when in reality, they are not. To others, the Bible is nothing more than a sentimental “catch-all”—newspaper clippings, snapshots, wedding announcements, locks of hair, pressed flowers saved from a loved one’s funeral, etc.
The question is: What use are we making of this marvelous book? It is God’s only rule of faith and practice for man (2 Tim. 3:16-17). To know it and to use it means more than merely owning a copy, displaying it, or even reading it. To know it and to use it means to love it with all the heart, believe it with all the mind, and obey it implicitly and trustingly. The Psalmist said, “Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day” (Psa. 119:97). (To come to a better appreciation of the Word of God, I suggest that you read Psalm 119 entirely on a regular basis.) To know it and to use it means that we must be willing to allow it to mold our every thought, attitude, action, and every relationship.
And now we come to the important matter of obeying the Word. While some are willing to hear it (which is good), hearing alone is not enough. There were those in Ezekiel’s day who were hearing God’s Word, but not doing what it said.Notice Ezekiel 33:32— “for they hear your words, but they do not do them.” The prophet Jeremiah faced a similar problem with the people of his day. Observe what the Lord told him in Jeremiah 7:27: “Therefore you shall speak all the words to them, but they will not obey you. You shall also call to them, but they will not answer you.” Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matt. 7:21).
The Apostle Paul warned of a time when people would “turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Tim. 4:4). Actually, we are deceiving ourselves if we think that just hearing the Word will meet our needs and please our God. Our needs are only met and the Lord is pleased when we are willing to obey from the heart what we hear from God’s Word. James tells us, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves...But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does” (Jas. 1:22, 25).
The real value of the Bible lies in the fact that it, and it alone, is the only book which can truly enrich our lives while here on earth, and then direct us home to Heaven. May we ever know it, use it, and obey it for that purpose.
by R.J. Evans